Thinking of a long dormant project sitting in my basement, I realized my old tray (below) made a fine candidate to be gold-leafed and mirrored.
After refreshing my memory of Alison’s experience with gold-leafing a side table, I purchased my gold-leafing supplies, red acrylic paint and brushes. As Alison mentioned, it’s key to set up a workspace that you can leave up for several days until you complete the project.
Pictured below is the tray awaiting its mirrored inlay, cut by Binswanger Glass in Richmond. Use 1/8″ thickness of mirror so that the tray isn’t too heavy when finished. Since I was going to install a mirror at the bottom of the tray, I didn’t need to paint or leaf that part.
After light sanding, I covered all but the bottom with a base coat of red acrylic paint before applying the gold leaf (you can see a spot of red peeking out from the lower left corner). The red paint will show when your leafing inevitably misses some small spots, leaving an authentic look.
After I picked up the mirror, I applied a little Rub n Buff to reduce the shininess of the gold leafing (even after applying the sealer). I wasn’t wild about its dull finish, so I applied a small amount of Martha Stewart’s Gold Liquid Gilding
and am 100% satisfied with the combined result.
For a $25 mirror and less than $20 in other supplies, I gave an existing piece a fresh new look. Now when I sit down with a cup of coffee to relax with my favorite magazines, I feel peaceful not having to stare at the drab old tray anymore. Isn’t it always the small things that seem to bring us the most joy?
September 21, 2016
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